Honeybees are social bees, with colonies composed of a single Queen and many hundreds of workers. New colonies are begun when additional Queens are produced in a colony and all but one leave, each newly fertilized Queen taking a consort of workers with her. Males (drones) are produced only for mating with these new queens, and the males then die. Only the females can sting, but all workers are females and all of the working members of the hive can sting. Honeybees can sting humans only once, losing their stinger in the process. Larvae are fed pollen and honey, and the honey is created by continual mastication and dehydration of the nectar and other sugary fluids the workers gather. Honeybee hives remain active year-round, and often will be located within structures. Queens may live as long as 5 years while workers live less than 2 months in the active summer months.
Bee activity may be reduced around eating areas with good sanitation, by keeping food spills cleaned up and keeping trash receptacles closed. Colonies located within walls or other voids may be removed by professional beekeepers if possible. If necessary they may be treated with a dust insecticide to kill the bees, and the hive should then be removed. If the hive is left future problems will occur from melting wax and honey, as well as the attraction of the materials to ants and carpet beetles.